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An Amazonian fruit with a high potential as a natural source of vitamin C: the camu-camu (Myrciaria dubia)

  • Roberta B. Rodrigues (a1), Hilary C. De Menezes (a1), Lourdes M.C. Cabral (a2), Manuel Dornier (a3) (a4) and Max Reynes (a3) (a4)...

Abstract

The plant. The camu-camu [Myrciaria dubia (H.B.K.) Mc. Vaugh] is a shrub from the Myrtaceae family. It grows naturally in floodable and swampy areas of the Amazonian basin. This plant is cultivated in Peru and Brazil with fruit yields ranging from (12 to 20) t × ha-1 × year-1. The fruit. The fruit, from (1 to 3) cm in diameter, is pink to dark purple; it is the highest known source of natural vitamin C, providing (850 to 5,000) mg mg × 100 g-1 edible portion. The market. In the last few years, both national and international demand for the camu-camu fruit has drastically increased for the production of health food or of natural vitamin C. The current fruit production is not sufficient to satisfy the market. Conclusion. M. dubia stands out amongst other Amazonian fruit species as having a high economic and social potential. Little information is available on its processing, showing the need for research in this area.

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